Score: Roma 1 Sassuolo 0FT
Stadio Citta Del Tricolore, Sassuolo
It is finally here we have reached the final game of the 2017-2018 campaign. Roma are coming off an impressive 0-0 draw with League champions Juventus. Now while all the headlines will be in the Inter Lazio game with a Champions League place on the line. It also is a homecoming of Eusebio Di Francesco and Lorenzo Pellegrini as they return to Sassuolo on Roma’s final match day of the season. Roma are looking to finish the season strong with a win in their final game to win the season series. During the first meeting between these two sides it ended up being a controversial 1-1 draw in which VAR denied Roma of two goals the draw was a part of Roma’s worst stretch at the season. However on this occasion Roma come into this game with great confidence as they are playing their best football of the Season having won four in a row. They also have confirmed their spot in next year’s Champions League last week and only need a point to guarantee a top-three finish. While Sassuolo have a little to nothing to play for with Sassuolo having confirmed safety after a relegation scare during the second half of the season. Sassuolo are on a beach this game has no meaning for them not to mention Roma’s away form could make it very difficult for them to get results as the Romans have won 25 of their last 26 away matches. It was a very evenly-matched game with both Roma and to Sassuolo going for it wasn’t too much between them. Roma were slightly the better team going forward in front of goal they were fairly accurate but there was only going to be one winner. Just before half-time Kostas Manolas took a hard shot at the Sassuolo goal in doing so the goalkeeper pushed the ball into his own net to give Roma the 1-0 lead at the half. In the second half it continue to be a good game with both teams going after it not much to gain from either team but Roma continued to push forward and could have scored a fair few times. Roma did great defensively and weren’t going to leak any goals as the Romans hold on for the 1-0 lead which confirms a top-three finish for Eusebio di Francesco’s side as he comes away a winner in his return to Sassuolo.
We would see some changes for this Roma side as Eusebio Di Francesco made adjustments for his final match of the season. Just a few changes for Roma but a lot of the regulars there Roma would operate out of their 4-3-3 formation a formation that has been their bread and butter this season having great success with it. Roma would have a change in goal as Alisson Becker’s amazing debut season as Roma’s number one comes to an end as he finishes the year with a 109 saves and 17 clean sheets. Lucas Podolski get this to start for Roma in what is likely his last game for the club as he has come out and said but he is not going to sit on the bench for another season. Roma’s defense would return to its usual starters their back for would consist of At left-back the signing of the Season Alex Kolarov beside him as the team’s centre-backs would be Federico Fazio and coming off injury would be Kostas Manolas. Someone who was expected to be out for the rest of the season makes his return. Then finally to make up the defense at right back would be Alexandro Florenzi. In Roma’s three man Midfield would be Maxine Gonalons coming in for Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi. on the left would be the return of Kevin Strootman to the starting lineup and then on the right will be last week’s Man of the match winner Lorenzo Pellegrini. Then finally up front in the Rome attack would be on the left wing returning from injury Diego Perotti. On the right wing Patrik Schick who has scored and two of his last three starts. Then finally the main man up front as the main Striker would be Edin Dzeko who remains in excellent form. Then as always a strong Roma bench with the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy birthday boy Gerson and Rick Karsdorp who is coming off an injury.
After preparations and predictions for this final match of the season we were about to kick off in Sassuolo as Roma were welcomed to the Stadio Citta Del Tricolore as Roma looked to keep their incredible away unbeaten streak alive. As Roma are unbeaten in 25 of their last 26 away games. It was a hot humid nasty summer day and Italy but both teams are ready as we kicked off for the final 90 minutes of the season. Roma came out of the gate firing on all cylinders pretty aggressive in their attack. In the opening five minutes Roma came close to getting the opener. As Lorenzo Pellegrini connected with Kevin Strootman on a cross. Strootman attempted to get his head on the ball but his header was saved by The Keeper. Roma early in this game dominated possession as you would expect. However it wasn’t other domination as Sassuolo did some nice things in the opening part of the game. Just a few minutes later Roma were nearly were in again but unfortunately were hit with some rotten luck. As Patrik Schick took a well-hit shot from inside the box but his attempt hit the bar. Roma have hit the crossbar more than any team in the league this season combining for 26 over the 38 games. Roma kept the momentum going as they continued to go forward. Diego Perotti saw his shot from Deep saved by the goalkeeper as it stayed even. For the first parts of the first half it seemed mutually all Roma in terms of football. Just passed the 20th minute mark Edin Dzeko got a very good chance. When he got his head to a Diego Perotti cross but unfortunately his header missed wide. Just a few minutes later Edin Dzeko tried from Deep but once again the goalkeeper saved his well-hit shot. Finally with a quarter of the match gone Sassuolo finally had their chance when Mateo Politano saw his shot saved by the Roman keeper. In at their opening chance of the game he would get another chance just a few minutes later but once again his shot was denied. He would then miss another seconds later his clinical finishing was taken into issue. As it got deeper into the first half Sussuolo got another chance with Alfred Duncan but his outside shot was saved by the Roma keeper. Roma would try to respond a few minutes later as Edin Dzeko attempted another strike from deep but unfortunately missed keeping the game even. It was a pretty balanced game but Roma did seem to be a little bit more in control and it showed. In the 45th minute just before they have time Kostas Manolas fired a shot from the sidelines a very sharp and Powerful shot as he fired it at the goal and in doing so because of the velocity and power of the shot the Sassuolo keeper ended up pushing it into the back of his own net to give Roma the 1-0 lead. A lot of credit has to go to Kostas Manolas who created the goal as his shot was just too powerful to handle. That would be the end of the first half with the Romans holding a 1-0 lead.
Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas Celebrate the opening goal.
A fairly good first half Roma they got the goal that they needed with Roma’s excellent defensive form especially away from home getting a lead is almost game over because of how well this backline plays together. But it wasn’t a Roma dominated game as we have seen in previous weeks Sassuolo were not on a beach despite this they still were doing what they could to break this game open. The second half started and Sassuolo’s Matteo Politano had a pair of opening chances but once again struggled with end product in front of goal missing on both accounts. Chances weren’t coming Fast and Furious in the second half as it became a little possession based going forward from both teams. It was a difficult atmosphere because of how hot it was the energy level was very low players were getting tired very quickly playing in the humidity really didn’t benefit either team. With about a half hour to go and the second-half Edin Dzeko try to double it with a strike from Deep nearly scoring but his shot was dramatically Saved By The Keeper. Dominique Berardi and Missrolli kept up this is Sassuolo attack with two chances but both failed to reach the target. Roma would then make their first substitution of the game as Stephan El Shaarawy came on for Patrik Schick. Schick did not have the season he was hoping to have but during the second half of the season he showed the promise and I fully expect him to be a major goal scoring threat next season. Almost immediately after the substitution Diego Perotti took a shot from distance coming off and Edin Dzeko pass but missed wide. Roma would then make their second substitution of the game as Elio Capradossi came on for his second career start replacing Alexandra Florenzi. Then shortly after Roma made their last change of the game as a birthday boy Gerson came in for Diego Perotti. Just a few minutes later Edin Dzeko tried a strike from the side of the box but missed. Despite a good set up by Kevin Strootman. It’s got later and later into the game and it seemed like it was going to be unlikely that the score changed. In stop it’s time both Edin Dzeko & Lorenzo Pellegrini had their shots saved as time ran out on this year’s campaign with Roma picking up their fifth consecutive Victory to end the year in what was a 1-0 Roma win. As Di Francesco comes away a winner against his old team as Roma cap off what was a fantastic season but more to come.
Di Francesco Comes back to Sassuolo and Leaves a Winner
Eusebio Di Francesco made his return to his old stomping ground as Roma picked up the win in his return to Sassuolo. It would be a very narrow victory but Roma would end the season on a high note with the 1-0 win. With Champions League already confirmed Roma didn’t have much to play for except the pride of finishing ahead of their neighbors in the hopes of getting a top-three finish this season. It turned out to be a very back and forth game but it was a Roma who looked to have the upper hand in the battle. Kostas Manolas saw his shot pushed into the back of the net to give Roma three points on an own goal from Sassuolo. In this match Roma saw the return of Diego Perotti to the starting lineup as well as seeing Maxine the Gonalons make a rare starts in central Midfield. The first half on goal would be enough to see off Roma as winners. The Romans secure a top-three finish winning their fifth match in a row to end the campaign. They finish this season in third with 77 points which is incredibly impressive considering what Roma lost over the summer. Roma leave this season and High Spirits to end the campaign in excellent form as they look forward to next year. Roma were without Allison in this game as their backup goalkeeper was given the start and what would be perhaps his last game wearing colors. It was a very evenly-matched game on an excruciating hot afternoon in Italy. Roma did enough to hold off for the victory as they win the season series against Sassuolo in the return of Di Francesco and Lorenzo Pellegrini both spent a significant amount of time at the club. In their new colors they came off Victorious. Today’s man of the match getting a rare appearance would be Maxine Gonalons it is uncertain whether he will be at the club next season but he put in an excellent performance controlling Midfield and contributing both defensively and in the attack the best performance he has put in in the Roma shirt. Whether he will be at this club next year I am not sure but if this was his last game he put in quite a performance for the Romans. His passing was sharp he made smart decisions overall an excellent performance from the Frenchman. Roma get that top-three finish they were looking for as well as a return in the Champions League a competition in which they made the semi-finals. It has been a revelation under Eusebio Di Francesco who certainly from all accounts has been an upgrade from Luciano Spalletti . This Roma team had battled with the absence and departure of three key players Last Summer Roma were to replace them and put together an excellent campaign With how they’ve done this season Roma should be pushing on to try to win the title next year they are not that far away from it. In addition to all that for the eighth year in a row they will finish above their neighbors and arch-rivals Lazio. Who threw away a momentous opportunity to get into the Champions League in their loss to Inter Milan this afternoon. As they saw Inter Milan come back twice and score two goals within minutes of each other to hold on for an 3-2 Inter victory in Rome. Roma ends the season with their heads Held High as I’ve said many times Roma are coming for the throne year one of the process is complete as a season comes to an end.
Man of The Match: Maxine Gonalons (1)
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 6
Pass Accuracy: 85%
On Target: 3
Pass Accuracy: 74%
Top Of the Table
1. Juventus 30-5-3 95Points CHAMPIONS/Champions League)
2.S.S Napoli 28-7-3 91 Points (Champions League)
3. A.S Roma 23-8-7 77 Points (Champions League)
4. Inter Milan 20-12-6 72Points (Champions League)
5. Lazio 21-9-8 72Points (Europa League)
Bottom Of the Table
16. Cagliari 11-6-21 39Points
17. SPAL 8-14-16 38Points
18. FC Crotone 9-9-20 36 Points (Relegated)
19. Verona 7-4-25 25Points (Relegated)
20. Benevento 5-3-27 18Points (Relegated)